Oprah, Usher, Mayer honor Rock & Roll Hall inductees
By Piya Sinha-Roy ,Reuters
April 20, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
LOS ANGELES -- A star-studded crowd gathered to celebrate the 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees on Thursday, as Oprah Winfrey and Usher gathered to pay homage to the likes of Donna Summer, Quincy Jones, Randy Newman and Rush.
Disco queen Summer, producer Jones and comedy-rock singer Newman were inducted along with Canadian progressive rock band Rush, blues guitarist Albert King, hip hop pioneers Public Enemy, rockers Heart and veteran producer Lou Adler.
Television personality and media mogul Winfrey, who said she was discovered by veteran R&B producer Jones when he cast her in "The Color Purple" in 1985, praised his decades-long career, during which he launched stars such as the late Michael Jackson.
"He defines the word legend, he is remarkable and everybody knows it," Winfrey said.
"I continue to be amazed at what goes on in his head ... he's of this time and so far ahead of this time," she added as she present Jones, 80, with his induction trophy.
"Queen of Disco" Summer, who died last May aged 68, was inducted by singer Kelly Rowland, who praised Summer's career for paving the way for female artists
"Her words remind us of exactly who we are," she said.
Summer's husband and daughters were on hand to accept her trophy and singer Jennifer Hudson got the crowd on their feet singing Summer's hits "Bad Girls" and "Last Dance."
Newman, 69, kicked off the night with "I Love LA," joined on stage by musicians Tom Petty, Jackson Browne and John Fogerty and later performed his songs "I Think It's Going to Rain Today" and "I'm Dead" with former Eagles member Don Henley.
Henley, who inducted Newman, criticized the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for its delay in including Newman, calling it "one of those inductions long overdue, in fact, shamefully overdue."
Newman was less critical, saying he was "glad" to be inducted while he was still alive.
"I always wanted to be respected by musicians ... it means a great deal to me that the people I respect are giving me respect," Newman said.